Since I wasn’t the right candidate to review the Cisco Valet, Cisco also decided to send me a router that was more up my alley. Enter the Linksys E3000 (also made by Cisco). I was so excited when this came in the mail. Our previous router was also a Linksys, and it was still working perfectly, despite being a few years old.
I plugged in the router, and was really amazed at how easy the initial setup was. I put the CD in my computer and it connected to the router and configured a secure network with a unique SSID (again the word you see when searching for networks to connect to on your wireless laptop). Since I’m a more advanced user though, I immediately went to the web interface of the router to configure the network to MY specifications.
I logged on to the web interface, and was very familiar with it already as it was quite similar to our old router’s web interface. The first thing I do when configuring a new network is change the Subnet. This is the IP address range of the network. So typically it will default to 192.168.0.1. The network will then follow suit and assign IP addresses (the unique identifier to each device on your network) according to that range, so the first device on the network would be 192.168.0.100, then 192.168.0.101. I like to change the range to make the network more secure, and to make sure it won’t conflict with other networks when I try to connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network, which means I’m adding my computer to a network at my place of business even though the computer is still at my house).
After I change the subnet, I change the administrator password, and then I changed the SSID because while I love that they gave me a network name of SillyMonkey, I would rather have something different. I set up everything exactly the way I wanted to, and then is when I ran into trouble.
The router defaults to having a guest network enabled. Not that I don’t love my neighbors, but I wasn’t interested in handing out internet to my street. So I went to turn off the guest network. You can not do this from the web interface. I remembered seeing it in the Cisco Connect software, so I went to that. Except now I was no longer able to get into the Cisco Connect software because I had changed too many things in the advanced configuration. This is a major flaw in the setup. If the setting is not available in the Advanced Web interface, and I can ONLY set it in the software, I should be able to access the software to set it. OR I should be able to change the setting in the advanced area. I informed my contact at Cisco that this was a major flaw, and they informed me that they were aware of the issue, and were working on a fix for it. I did, however, find a workaround on the internet (that is probably not the most recommended way to go, but it totally got me in).
Linksys E3000 Turn Off Guest Access after Advanced Setup…
- (this is for advanced users only who will no doubt find this post when searching Google for a solution)
- Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco Systems\Cisco Connect\Settings (on a Windows 7 machine) right click on “settings.xml” and edit it in a notepad. Change the SSID, WirelessPassword & Admin Password to whatever you set yours to in your advanced setup.
- Save the file and you should be able to get back into the Cisco Connect software to turn off the Guest Network.
Now onto what the router does well! First, before I plugged the router in, I downloaded the latest Pink album from my Zune Software. It took 4 minutes for the entire album. THEN I plugged the router in, and got it all set up. I deleted the album from my computer and then downloaded the Clean Version of the album (that way it wasn’t the exact same download, but it would have the exact same file sizes. I downloaded again… this time it took 2 1/2 minutes! A FULL minute and a half quicker!
The E3000 has SIX internal antennas. My previous router looked like an alien head with 2 antennas sticking out of the top. The device itself looks GORGEOUS, and easily blends into the furniture so it’s not completely obvious that there is a router there. We have several devices connected to this router including… Wii, PS3, Xbox, DirecTV, 4 (yes, even the 1 year old has his own computer, none of which are wired with a cord to the internet), and my daughter’s Blu-Ray player in her room, on the complete other side of the house and upstairs from the router. All of the devices connected easily to the new router, and all have seen an internet performance increase.
I have been very happy with the E3000, and it works perfectly for the amount of traffic we send it’s way. Don’t forget to enter the Cisco Valet giveaway!
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